Mowing the Cat and the Birds

May 26 – If you wondered at the headline, that’s just this former English teacher reminding you that punctuation IS important! (so remember those commas) OK, back to business!


Innocent the Cat

Fat Cat always wants to be where we are, both inside and out. If Dale is outside doing nothing but feeding the birds, she wants to go out to see that he’s doing a good job and hoping for a pat or scratch behind the ears. As soon as he comes in, so does she. Now and again she will walk part of the pasture trails with us, but her size doesn’t make her too happy doing that any more.

A couple of weeks ago, we were getting ready for supper, but Cat wasn’t lolling on the floor as she usually is, making sure that we do our jobs well. Several times after supper, we called to each other, asking, “Have you seen the cat?” No, not for awhile.

Bedtime had arrived, and still no sign of the cat. Finally, we decided that we would leave the garage door up just a bit, so she could slide under and be at home in the garage, even if not in the house. In the morning, we checked in all of her favorite places in the garage, including the roof of the truck, but no Cat. Later that day, as Dale went out to open the door to the barn, he was a bit taken aback, for he didn’t even have time to chain up the outer door before Fat Cat sped back to the garage to gobble some food, but even more than that, to announce that she had come back home! Now why was she left, forsaken in the barn? We decided it must have happened when our nephew Richard from California took a ladder back to the barn after he had completed the job of cleaning the roof gutters.

160526_BuringPileBack in the days before the predicted rains arrived and have made their presence known ever since, we burned several piles of tree branches, fallen trees, thorny rose bushes, and anything else that we had to get rid of to make the woods and trails look much better. That was a long job, since we had originally planned to burn two piles, but ended up getting rid of FIVE of them!

Since I still had enough energy left to take on another task that should have been done back in April before the grass had grown so much, I decided I would go back to the “Jungle Area” that is bordered by the neighbor’s fence, the creek, and out by the road. That job had not been done even once this year, so I knew pretty well what I was in for. On our arrival here in Missouri, I noticed that piece of ground really did look like a jungle. The weeds were so high that I could walk among them and not be seen!

Cutting them took a long time, as the stalks were so thick and hard to cut. After several hours, I would finally come to the end of the job. Every month I would do that cutting again. But each spring, those horrid, thick and stalky weeds would be back again. Finally, I decided to use the hand mower when the weeds were still short enough to mow down. That worked much better, and with the new riding mower, I could be done in a shorter time. This year, because of our being so busy, I just didn’t find the time to mow. But yesterday, I thought it was about time to mow before the grass was so thick and tall that I couldn’t do it. Off I went with the push mower, a pretty heavy machine for me, while Dale worked at tilling in the garden.


[ Morning glories ]

I soon found out that all of my effort and hard work at pushing and pushing didn’t accomplish very much. As I went along, the cut tall grass just packed itself down in the chute and wouldn’t leave until I lifted the mower and let it come down with a bit of a bang. This went on for about an hour, the time it usually takes me to mow the entire area. Since I couldn’t see the edge of the creek as it was hidden by the weeds, I was afraid to work in that area. I didn’t want Dale to have to find that the lawn mower had slipped down the bank and into the creek!

Finally I had enough and decided to take the mower back to the barn, mowing little areas on the way. All went well, till just before I finished, the mower decided it had had enough for one day. Back into the barn it went while Dale and I worked on the area along another front fence where he will soon plant some beautiful blue morning glories; real eye catchers they are all summer long!


[ Red-headed woodpecker ]

One morning recently we were treated to a funny sight as a majestic blue jay was getting a drink from the water bowl. One of the squirrels quickly moved to the area and chased the bird away! A couple days ago when I was hand mowing along one of the fences, I noticed a mocking bird sitting on the wire. As I moved along, that bird flew to the next fence post, pausing there until I neared that area. This little exercise continued along the next ten fence posts, until the poor bird must have decided I would not harm its nest, so he flew back quickly the way he had come. The meadowlark flies around the fence across the road, and a red headed woodpecker stops in at the feeder from time to time.

We have such a great opportunity to make friends with the creatures here on our eighteen acres, and with plenty of tasks to keep us busy, we feel that every day has more blessings than we deserve. – CHRIS

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